Lorely Burt MP attended a British Heart Foundation event calling on the next government to guarantee the future of the science budget to protect lifesaving research.
The MP for Solihull joined heart patient Emily Sullivan, 8, for a science lesson to highlight the importance of charities being able to continue funding medical research.
Emily has had three open heart surgeries after being born with three large holes in her heart, a condition that more and more people are surviving because of BHF research.
Medical research charities rely on government investment to pay for the indirect costs of research, such as lighting, electricity and heating for laboratories.
Without government support, the BHF’s ability to fund world class research to prevent and treat cardiovascular disease would be significantly reduced.
Mrs Burt said, “Charities are an essential part of the UK medical research environment and the science budget is vital to supporting their research.
“By funding the day-to-day running of science facilities, the next government will ensure that researchers can concentrate on finding the next lifesaving cure.
“If we are to prevent and treat devastating conditions like cardiovascular disease in places like Solihull, we need continued investment in pioneering research and to guarantee the future of the science budget.”
For every £1 charities spend directly on medical research, the government pays 26p to help fund the indirect costs.
The BHF is calling on the next government to maintain the current ring-fencing of the science budget and to commit to future increases.
Professor Peter Weissberg, Medical Director at the British Heart Foundation, said, “If the UK is to maintain its strong position in biomedical research, the next government must guarantee the future of the science budget.
“Every single research grant we fund is underpinned by government investment in universities.
“This fund is a vital partnership between government, charity and universities and any cut to it would be extremely damaging to our life saving research and the fight against heart disease.”
A quarter of all deaths in the UK are caused by cardiovascular disease and there are an estimated seven million people living with the condition.